drank Red Queen Cupcake by Butiki Teas
619 tasting notes

I didn’t have a single cup of tea yesterday because I was so busy (I was out ll day, and went straight from a shopping trip to work, only stopping at home for 12 minutes in between to get changed) and my wisdom tooth was playing up so much that I don’t think I would have been able to enjoy it anyway. I’d like to say I’m going to make up for it today, but I’m going straight from freelance work #1.5 to job #2, so I’m still pretty busy today. Tomorrow I’m back at job #1 for a few hours but then finally I’ll have a few hours when I get back to enjoy some tea. Unless they decide to keep me on a double shift…

I decided to have this one because of the chocolate, which I was craving and can’t have because of my new old diet. Sadly, the chocolate is the least prominent flavour. I’m a little bit gutted because I was really looking forward to Butiki’s chocolate flavour, and it just kind of gets lost in a sea of strawberry. It smells absolutely delicious while it’s steeping, and I can clearly pick out the strawberry, chocolate and espresso notes, but when I tried this plain all I got was a murky coffee/tea combo with a fairly strong strawberry note and not much chocolate. I added a tiny bit of sugar and it did bring out the strawberry more and make the base tea less murky-tasting, but there is still a mild astringency which is too much for me to drink a whole cup, since I’m quite sensitive to astringency. I added a splash of skimmed milk, just a touch, and it did help to balance the cup out a lot. The strawberry is no longer fresh strawberry, but more strawberry cream, like a milkshake sort of flavour, and the espresso note becomes more clear at the end of the sip, getting more prominent as the cup cools. I still don’t get much chocolate, though that’s maybe to do with the base tea. I’ve never tried this base on its own but I can’t help wishing Stacy had used something sweeter, with more natural dark chocolate and honey notes. The Sansia Black, for example, worked really well in the Chocolate Chili Truffle blend. It’s a shame that the chocolate didn’t come through for me, because I think it’s the note which ties the others together so that they make sense as a combination. Chocolate and coffee? Delicious. Chocolate and strawberry? A classic combination. Coffee and strawberry?… Not so much. Without that missing link of the chocolate it’s nice enough, but just seems a little bit odd and disjointed. I will have to play with the steeping parameters to see if I can make it work.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara McGee’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years (and have purchased several fandom tea sets including the Sherlock one I lusted over for so long).

Flavoured teas make up the majority of my collection, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I usually reach for a black, oolong or white tea base over a pu’erh or green tea, though I do have my exceptions. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander/cilantro, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 25 year old bartender, English Literature sort-of-graduate and current student working towards finishing my degree. I am hoping to one day complete a masters degree in Mental Health Social Work and get a job working in care. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching, football/soccer (Sunderland AFC supporter and employee of my local football club), music, artsy weird makeup, and learning new things (currently British Sign Language).

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.
Currently unable to swap as I’ve returned after a long hiatus to a cupboard of mostly-stale teas I’m trying to work through before I let myself purchase anything fresh

I also tend to ramble on a bit.


South Shields, UK

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